On the Run

A few weeks back I decided, with some prodding from a friend, that is was time for me to get off my rear and start exercising. Last summer when a new Snap Fitness opened in our neighborhood, my wife encouraged me to sign up. That lasted for 6 months and was the place I could be found between 5:00 & 6:00 am every morning. Until my kids started waking at 5 am. And then winter came. And then other priorities took precedence.

Fast-forward a few months and now it’s spring again and I need to work exercise back into my regimen. The first thing I did, thanks to the recent acquisition of an iPhone was to download the Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker. This program has a large database of items and allows you to track not only what you eat but also your weight and your exercise. After tracking for a week, I switched it to a 2020 calorie per day goal setting, or there “Lose 2 lbs per week” setting. But the great thing is that it’s working. I have never thought before about how many calories are in various foods. To me, it’s been eat till I’m full. And sometimes that has been bursting full. Now I think about every thing that I eat. From the 100 calorie slices of bread with 120 calories of peanut butter and 50 calories of bananas to the 330 calorie bean burrito from Taco Bell. (For the record, a Carmel Peacan Cinnabon is 1092 calories. Let that soak in next time you smell one of those in the mall or airport! And no, I haven’t had one in years but they are tempting.)

The second thing I did was to get a heart rate monitor. After looking around, I bought a $62 Polar FS1 with a chest strap. It is giving me a good awareness of what my heart rate is and where I want it to be when I’m in the ‘zone’.

The third thing I have is a program for my iPhone called Run Keeper. Run Keeper will use the GPS in your phone to track where you are, how fast you are going, how far you have gone and then give you a map where you ran and, if you log in to the website, a record of your past runs as well as a graph of your speed and elevations. It’s a great tool, as long as the phone can get the GPS signal.

Finally I’ve been running. While I would like to get out more, I have been going at least 4 times a week. Usually, it’s clumped around the weekends but sometimes I just go at night after the kids are down.

The scales is starting to become my friend again and my pants are harder and harder to keep up. All this is a good sign. I like getting smaller. There has always been too much of me!

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